Revealed: Man United could have signed Barcelona's Fati for Sh19billion
Barcelona´s Guinea-Bissau forward Ansu Fati (R) is congratulated by Barcelona’s French forward Antoine Griezmann after scoring a goal during the Spanish league football match FC Barcelona against Valencia CF at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on September 14, 2019. (Photo by PAU BARRENA / AFP)

Manchester United reportedly agreed in principle to sign Ansu Fati for €150million (£133million) last summer, only for Barcelona to call a halt to transfer discussions.

Fati, 18, is considered one of the most exciting prospects in European football and burst onto the scene with seven goals in 24 La Liga games last season.

He scored his first professional goal aged just 16 to become Barcelona’s youngest ever goalscorer and the third-youngest in La Liga history.

Fati also became the youngest scorer in Champions League history after scoring the winner over Inter Milan aged 17 last December to put him firmly on United’s radar.

The Red Devils were desparate to add a right-winger to their ranks after missing out on Jadon Sancho and lined up a deal for Fati with his agent, Jorge Mendes.

But despite the “dizzying” £133million fee, Spanish outlet Sport claims Barcelona turned away Mendes’ proposal, as they see Fati as the club’s future.

Spain international Fati is tied down in Catalonia until 2022, while Barca have the option to extend his stay for another two seasons.

Revealed: Man United could have signed Barcelona's Fati for Sh19billion
Spain’s Ansu Fati runs to the ball during the UEFA Nations League soccer match between Spain and Ukraine at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano Stadium in Madrid, Spain, Sunday, Sept. 6, 2020. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

The player is also protected by an enormous €400million (£357million) release clause.

Fati started this season strongly with five goals and three assists in 10 games and appeared to be thriving under new Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman.

But the teenager faces four months on the sidelines after suffering a meniscus injury in the 5-2 win over Real Betis earlier this month.

Meanwhile, after missing out on Sancho and Fati, United turned to 18-year-old wingers Facundo Pellistri and Amad Diallo on Deadline Day.

Diallo will arrive from Atalanta in January for a fee which may rise to £37million, while Pellistri has been featuring for the youth team and is yet to make his senior debut.

 

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